Standing Out from the Crowd, Part 4: Kickstarter Tips & Tricks | Casual Game Revolution

Standing Out from the Crowd, Part 4: Kickstarter Tips & Tricks

Money Harvest

Every year the board game industry grows and incorporates more and more dedicated players. The last few years have been termed the "board game renaissance," and in a lot of ways, it truly is the best era in gaming thus far. By the time industry magazine ICv2 reports of the most recent figures (typically 10-20% annual growth since around 2008), a plethora of new board game publishers have already sprung up. With the growth of Kickstarter, starting a publishing company has become a lot more accessible for those that don't have the financial resources to afford printing thousands of copies of a game on their own. This is great for consumers, though the immense competition requires all publishers to be on top of their game (pun definitely intended). 

With this drastic industry growth, competing is becoming ever more difficult. As a publisher, there are some things you can do to stand out from the crowd, which we'll outline in this article series. This is the fourth article in the series (click to read: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3).

Kickstarter Tips & Tricks

Running a Kickstarter campaign is a lot of work. There are a plethora of hoops that a creator must jump through in order to be successful. We've previously spoken to the theme, art direction, and marketing (all of which are extremely important for a successful campaign). 

However, the theme, artwork, and marketing are only a few parts of the long and arduous process. In this part of the article series, we're going to highlight the important things to know before running a Kickstarter campaign. 

1. Kickstarter Page 

Once you have a great theme for your game, as well as great art direction and a solid marketing plan, you'll need to begin drafting the Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter page is of incredible importance. If your page doesn't look professional and well thought out, customers will simply look at one of the other games on the platform (there are a lot of options at any given time). 

The first step for drafting a Kickstarter page is to create a group of headings and a general layout for the page. It is always preferable to work with a professional graphic designer to create these headings and ensure a cohesive layout for the page. The second step is to begin drafting some of the written content for the page (this will assist with seeing what additional graphics will be required, too). The third step is to secure those additional graphics as well as get a Kickstarter video made for the page. The Kickstarter video will be the first thing that people see when they go to your page so it is imperative to do it right. 

2. Previews & Podcasts

A part of the Kickstarter page that we wanted to lend specific feedback on is the reviews section. Most backers need to see how-to-play videos and outside Kickstarter previews in order to even consider backing. Though some experienced creators, such as Zafty Games, have experimented with not having reviews on their campaigns, it is no longer feasible to do so as a first-time creator.

There are great unpaid resources for previews as well as paid options. Some of the most well-known reviewers will charge between $300-600 for a preview, but they will also bring great quality audio, video, and content as well as a large viewership. Most first time creators will only need one or two paid previews and possibly a few unpaid options. Some great budget options are Just Got Played, Gaming with Edo, and the Unfiltered Gamer. The largest paid reviewers include Man Vs. Meeple and The Boardgame Spotlight. If your game is casual in nature, Casual Game Revolution also offers a Kickstarter preview service for $200.

In addition to the positive benefits to consumers, previews will also allow the creator to get outside validation for their game. As a creator, it is always great to know what people think of the game prior to ordering thousands of copies. In addition to previews, it is helpful to get on podcasts to talk about the game and be a part of the community. 

3. Manufacturing & Shipping 

Before running a Kickstarter campaign, as a publisher you should understand the business ramifications of running a campaign. Manufacturing and shipping logistics are difficult to sort through. As a new publisher, you'll have to be aware of the costs of manufacturing and shipping and ensure you can afford to deliver the product with the goal you've set for your campaign. 

As a new publisher, you will need to get in contact with manufacturers and get several price quotes. You'll also need to get dimensions for your game box as well as your shipping weights. You'll need these when contacting fulfillment companies to determine the shipping rates for your campaign. 

4. Marketing

Though we used Part 3 of this series to highlight all the specific marketing efforts to utilize, we feel it is important to express here as well. Even the best of games require a great marketing effort in order to successfully fund on Kickstarter. Crowdfunding campaigns do an excellent job of bringing new eyes on a project, but only if you bring an audience with you as well. 

You'll want to have a minimum of 30% of the funds within the first 24-48 hours of the campaign. That 30% should come from your built up audience on your email list and from your social media channels. 

That's all for now!

What else do you want to you want to hear from us in this article series? Let me know on Twitter at @AtherisAndrew